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September 16, 2005



Yeah, an air rifle is a pretty good way to go. I'd go with the .177 because it's small, therefore fast with a flatter trajectory. Some would argue that the .22 is better for varmints, but I'd stick to the .177. Get the pointy-tipped pellets -- you want to make an impression on the critter. I wouldn't shoot anything rabbit-size or larger with an air rifle.

I would opt for some form of single-pump action -- just pump it and go. I have one that you "pump" the action open, insert the pellet, close the action, and your'e ready to go. I also have another one with a side pump. The pump action rifle is cheap and cheesy, but more than one small mammal has met with an abrupt demise from it. It works.

If you get an air rifle with a lot of muzzle velocity compared to other similar air rifles, you will get a lot of noise when you fire it. So although muzzle velocity is generally desirable, you want to compromise here to keep the noise down.

For what you need, I would keep the price under $100.00, unless you _really_ want a super nifty air rifle.

You could go with a cheap scope for the air rifle, but if the range is under 50 feet, say, a peephole sight might be just as effective.

In any case, take your air rifle out somewhere (or indoors if you want to pony up for an indoor backstop) and find out where it's shooting, and get it to shoot where you want your shot to go (i.e. sight it in). Practice, so you can confidently place your shots right where you want them every time. You want a clean kill on your don't want them to run off, suffer, and die miserably. And you especially don't want them to die in one of your walls or under the floorboards or in the attic where they'll stink to high heaven and you can't get at them.

Alternatively, bait some rat traps with peanut butter. I don't recommend the glue traps -- the damn rats fought free of them in every instance I had with them. Fur, some blood, no rat. Hmph.


Get an old single shot 22. Get a box of ammo for it. Pop the lead out with a pair of gas pliers, dump the powder (primer only)and take the casing and push it into a block of wax. (Wax bullet). Can't be heard as far as a air rifle and will usually do in the very small varmit types. Won't penetrate a wall or tear up your gutters. Still use care not to shoot a pet or person.


I agree with the .177 pellet gun. You can pick up a good one for less than $50 at Gunbroker

For the larger, two legged varmints that I know live all over Miami, I suggest the Magnum Research Desert Eagle .44 Magnum semi-automatic. It is also available on Gunbroker and I guarantee you will only shoot one varmint with it. The rest will get the picture and move on. :-)

Partisan Pundit

I've got an RWS air rifle, puts out 1000 fps.

Kind of pricey, but man, is it fun to shoot, and very accurate. As posted above, it does make a little noise, but nothing like a .22 would.

Only problem with wax bullets is their frangibility - mucking up your barrel.

A good .177 pellet rifle is the way to go.

Browne C. Altman

I use a 5MM/.20 caliber Sheridan pump airrifle/ Pellet gun.
It can be as effective as a .22 rifle if you give it five pumps but can be shot at fever pumps when either you do not need the power or you want less noise.
Mentioning noise reminds me to mention that suppressors/silencers are legal on air guns if the are made as non removeable part of the gun.
The BATF does not care and will not discuss the subject usually because they are only interested in "firearms".


Load a crap.

Buy a nice, powerful shop vac, with a nice wide hose. Tell them at the store you want to be able to suck up wood blocks off your shop floor with it. Run the hose outside, and put some pungent nuts in the end as bait, and then wait behind the curtain with your finger on the switch. When the squirrel goes in for the bait, turn the vac on and wait for the fun. Now you can beat it to death with a hammer. Wear thick welders gloves, though, those suckers'll tear the shit out of you if you let them.

You will find this all very therapeutic. Trust me.


Yes, air guns and air rifles are a great way to handle "varmint" problems. Modern air rifles have evolved and are more powerful. A wide variety of models and pricing are available. Check out

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